Empowerment Through Technology: We live in strange and unprecedented times, and increasing numbers of consumers are depending on technology to work, socialise, shop and learn. In the latest addition to the Business Leader Series, ProfileTree CEO Ciaran Connolly caught up with Lauren Allison of #TechMums to discuss her business journey, empowering women through technology and the importance of digital transformation in the age of Covid-19. Check out the full interview in the video above and don’t forget to subscribe to the series for more industry-leading insights!

Getting our conversation off to a start, Lauren Allison introduces herself as the CEO of #TechMums, a non-for-profit that works to support mums in becoming more familiar and confident in the use of technology – be that for work purposes; for helping their children or simply for their own interest or hobbies.

“It was founded by Professor Sue Black, who was awarded an OBE for her work, and it arose out of a campaign to save Bletchley Park, home of the WWII code breakers,” explains Lauren. Alongside her work with #TechMum, Allison also serves as an Executive Director for Sulby Media Limited, a communications company specialising in the tech space.

Empowerment Through Technology

Introducing Mums to Digital

Lauren highlights that her current role with #TechMums involves making the organisation more scalable and sustainable. But what does the organisation actually do? The CEO outlines the work of the NGO, explaining that it offers a range of programmes and services that help mums learn about technology. “We actually look at basic digital fluency, from coding right through to app and web design,” she shares. “We run 10-week programmes that steer away from academic language. In many cases, the mums attending want to learn whilst meeting other mums, and they don’t want to attend the likes of a night course, for example. It’s like mums and tots, only its mums and bots!”

The events are facilitated by a range of community partners, including church halls, town halls and libraries. “Our events cover collaborative tools like G Suite, as well as using tools like email, for example. That goes all the way through to showing these parents how to stay safe online, including how to spot phishing attempts, setting passwords and protecting child safety. We also focus on returning to work, helping the mums master LinkedIn, create CVs and the basics of online banking.”

Empowerment Through Technology with Lauren Allison

The work of #TechMums isn’t purely focused on basic digital literacy, however. Lauren highlights that the organisation also focuses on more advanced skills, including an introduction to web design, app design and coding. “That’s a bitesize course, and mums will normally leave with a website they have created using Wix. On the app side, they will leave with the wireframes for an app. Meanwhile, with the coding course they learn Python, as well as some of the history of programming and coding.”

The primary objective of #TechMums is to build the confidence of those who take part in its programmes. This is supported by TechMumsTV, a series of educational resources supported by Facebook, NominateTrust and Homestart UK. “Here, mums can engage and talk about different tech topics. We’ve reached over 300,000 mums, and we do a lot of consulting and ad hoc courses with organisations who want to become more inclusive in their approach to technology.”

Empowering Women with Technology

Technology can empower us all. But why does Lauren’s organisation place such a strong focus on mums? She highlights that the organisation began by looking at all sections of society and their issues, and we realised that everything happening offline is now happening online. “You can shop, you can interact with people. However, you can also be robbed or become the victim of fraud – so we cover all of those aspects. When you look at the digital skills gap, the working adult population’s lack of digital skills. Sadly, those statistics just aren’t improving fast enough for all the mums out there.”

Much of the organisation’s focus on mothers comes from the organisation’s additional objective of creating and encouraging tech-savvy families. “When your child comes home from work, they may ask for help with their maths, English or science homework. Why shouldn’t we be able to help them when they come home and ask for help with their coding homework?” she asks. “Mums tend to be left behind with this sort of thing, so by targeting mums we’re creating a more inclusive, diverse and fair society – something that a lot of us take for granted.”

How has the outbreak of the Covid-19 impacted the work of Lauren and the team at #TechMums? The CEO shares that in the sphere of business, there was a marked shift in those demanded that services were to be moved online. “In the back of my head, I did think that this was happening too quickly and without sufficient thought or planning. We were in emergency mode – fair enough – but let’s take a look at what’s going on here.

“#TechMums courses are designed to facilitate face-to-face learning. Lots of people wanted us to move to Zoom, but we had mums who didn’t have the internet or any connectable devices at home. You also have those who are unaware of how to use these tools, and trainers themselves who aren’t aware of how to deliver programmes over webcam. We had to design a solution on training mums how to use Zoom, getting that to them on a remote basis. We had a couple of sleepless nights, but thankfully all the mums have been able to finish their courses during quarantine!”

Lauren has also noticed significant shifts in how businesses engage with their employees: “Some employees want those check-ins, they want those Google Chats. Others are happier using tools like Slack and are satisfied with a call just once a week. I’m concerned that just because we’ve made it through this situation that we will assume that everybody knows how to use tools like Zoom – that simply isn’t true. People are still being left behind, and #TechMums will be at the forefront of changing these mindsets when restrictions begin to lift again.

**Those wishing to learn more about #TechMums, including their full range of programmes and services are invited to do so by visiting the non-for-profit’s official website. Interested parties are also encouraged to reach out to Lauren Allison directly via LinkedIn.**

Ciaran Connolly’s interview with #TechMums’ Lauren Allison joins ProfileTree’s award-winning Business Leader Series, recently recognised with the Best Content Marketing Award for a Video Series at the Inaugural Irish Content Marketing Awards. To pitch your business to take part in the series or to discover how our video production services can transform your online potential, get in touch with our expert team today. Please note that all Business Leader interviews will be carried out on a remote basis until public health guidelines allow for recordings at our Belfast-based studios.

Empowerment Through Technology with Lauren Allison

Empowered by Technology: Case Studies and Initiatives

To illustrate the diverse ways technology empowers individuals and groups, let’s explore several real-world examples relevant to your target audience (please specify the target audience to tailor the examples):


  • Malala Yousafzai: Through her online platform, Fund for Education, Malala advocates for girls’ education in developing countries. She uses social media to raise awareness and empower girls to pursue education through technology.
  • Khan Academy: This online platform provides free, high-quality educational resources for students of all ages and backgrounds. It empowers individuals to learn at their own pace and access knowledge regardless of location or socioeconomic status.
  • Project Gutenberg: This digital library offers free access to over 60,000 e-books, democratizing access to literature and empowering individuals to explore diverse knowledge.


  • Telemedicine: Remote healthcare consultations through video conferencing empower patients in rural areas or with limited mobility to access medical expertise, improving health outcomes and reducing travel costs.
  • Mental health apps: Tools like meditation apps and online therapy platforms empower individuals to manage stress, anxiety, and depression, taking control of their mental well-being through accessible technology.
  • Wearable devices: Fitness trackers and health monitoring devices empower individuals to track their health metrics, gain insights into their bodies, and make informed decisions about their well-being.


  • E-commerce platforms: Online marketplaces like Etsy and Shopify empower individuals to start and grow their businesses, reaching global audiences and bypassing traditional brick-and-mortar limitations.
  • Crowdfunding platforms: Sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo empower entrepreneurs to raise capital for their ideas, bypassing traditional funding channels and democratizing access to financial resources.
  • Microfinance platforms: Mobile banking and digital payment systems empower individuals in developing countries to access financial services, manage their finances, and participate in the formal economy.

Social Justice:

  • Social media activism: Platforms like Twitter and Facebook empower individuals to raise awareness about social injustices, mobilize communities for action, and amplify marginalized voices on a global scale.
  • Human rights organizations: Technology tools like mapping software and data analysis platforms empower human rights organizations to document abuses, track trends, and advocate for systemic change.
  • Accessibility initiatives: Assistive technologies like screen readers and voice control software empower individuals with disabilities to participate fully in society and access information and opportunities.

Remember, these are just a few examples. The possibilities are endless! Encourage your readers to explore how technology can be harnessed to empower themselves and others in their specific contexts and communities.

Bridging the Gap: Addressing Accessibility and Ethical Concerns

Technology’s empowering potential cannot be denied, but it isn’t without its challenges. To truly foster inclusive and responsible empowerment, we must acknowledge the gaps and concerns that can hinder equal access and ethical use.

Challenges and Limitations:

  • Digital Divide: Unequal access to technology based on socioeconomic status, geographic location, age, and physical abilities creates a digital divide, leaving marginalized communities behind.
  • Digital Literacy: Lack of technical skills and knowledge can limit individuals’ ability to navigate the digital world and fully utilize technology’s benefits.
  • Ethical Concerns: Issues like data privacy, algorithmic bias, misinformation, and online anonymity raise concerns about potential harm and necessitate responsible technology use.

Solutions and Initiatives:

  • Bridging the Digital Divide: Initiatives like affordable internet access programs, public computer centers, and digital literacy training programs can help bridge the gap and ensure equitable access for all.
  • Developing Inclusive Technology: Designing technology with accessibility in mind, incorporating assistive features, and promoting inclusive design principles can empower individuals with disabilities and diverse needs.
  • Promoting Digital Literacy: Educational programs, community workshops, and accessible online resources can equip individuals with the skills and knowledge they need to safely and effectively navigate the digital world.
  • Building Ethical Frameworks: Implementing data privacy regulations, promoting media literacy, addressing algorithmic bias, and encouraging responsible AI development are crucial for ensuring ethical and responsible technology use.
  • Fostering Open Dialogue: Public discussions, collaborative initiatives, and stakeholder engagement can create a space for addressing ethical concerns, developing responsible practices, and building trust in technology.

Examples of Initiatives:

  • One Laptop per Child: Provides affordable laptops and educational resources to children in disadvantaged communities.
  • Techbridge: Empowers women in developing countries through digital literacy training and access to technology.
  • The Algorithmic Justice League: Works to expose and combat bias in algorithms used in areas like criminal justice and hiring.
  • The Digital Dilemma Initiative: Conducts research and promotes discussions on the ethical implications of artificial intelligence.

Remember: Embracing technology for empowerment requires a conscious effort to bridge the gaps and address ethical concerns. By promoting responsible use, advocating for inclusivity, and continuously learning and adapting, we can ensure that technology truly empowers individuals and communities for a more equitable and just future.

Technology is not static, and its potential for empowerment is constantly evolving. As we stand at the precipice of exciting innovations, let’s explore how emerging technologies like AI, automation, blockchain, and more can further revolutionize empowerment on individual and community levels:

Artificial Intelligence (AI):

  • Personalized learning: AI-powered adaptive learning platforms can tailor education to individual needs and strengths, democratizing access to quality education and empowering learners to reach their full potential.
  • Healthcare advancements: AI-driven diagnostics, medical research, and personalized treatment plans can improve healthcare outcomes, empower individuals to manage their health proactively, and bridge the gap in access to medical expertise.
  • Enhanced accessibility: AI-powered tools like intelligent assistants and voice recognition software can empower individuals with disabilities by eliminating barriers to communication and information access.


  • Reclaiming time and resources: By automating repetitive tasks, individuals and communities can gain back valuable time and resources to pursue meaningful endeavors, fostering creativity, innovation, and community engagement.
  • Skill development and reskilling: Automation can create opportunities for individuals to develop new skills in areas where human expertise remains crucial, empowering them to adapt to changing job landscapes and remain marketable.
  • Enhanced social services: Automated systems can streamline social service delivery, making them more efficient, accessible, and personalized, empowering individuals to access the support they need.


  • Decentralized finance: Blockchain technology can empower individuals to manage their finances and access financial services without relying on traditional intermediaries, promoting financial inclusion and economic empowerment.
  • Secure identities and data ownership: Blockchain’s inherent security can empower individuals to control their personal data and identities, reducing vulnerability to privacy breaches and promoting digital empowerment.
  • Community ownership and governance: Blockchain-based platforms can facilitate democratic decision-making and transparency in community-run initiatives, empowering individuals to actively participate in shaping their communities.

Beyond these, additional trends hold immense potential:

  • The Internet of Things (IoT): Connecting everyday objects can empower individuals to monitor and manage their environment, optimize resource usage, and gain valuable insights into their health and well-being.
  • Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR): immersive technologies can empower individuals to access new educational and training experiences, foster global collaboration and communication, and enhance accessibility for those with physical limitations.
  • Synthetic biology: Advances in bioengineering could empower individuals to personalize healthcare treatments, improve sustainability efforts, and even address global challenges like hunger and disease.

Remember: While these technologies offer tremendous potential, their ethical development and responsible implementation are crucial. We must ensure equitable access, prevent bias and discrimination, and prioritize human well-being above technological advancement.

Actionable Takeaways for Personal and Professional Growth with Technology

Technology is a powerful tool, but it’s only as empowering as your ability to harness its potential. Let’s explore some practical tips and resources to use technology for your personal and professional growth:

Identify Your Goals:

  • Personal: Want to learn a new language? Improve your fitness? Deepen your creative skills? Define your specific goals to guide your technology choices.
  • Professional: Aiming for a career change? Upskilling for your current role? Building your online presence? Clarify your ambitions to leverage technology strategically.

Choose the Right Tools:

  • Education: Explore online learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, or Skillshare for diverse courses, tutorials, and certifications. Check out specialized platforms like Codecademy for coding, Masterclass for creative skills, or LinkedIn Learning for professional development.
  • Productivity: Utilize time management apps like Todoist or Trello, project management tools like Asana or Trello, and note-taking platforms like Evernote or OneNote to stay organized and efficient.
  • Creativity and Communication: Unleash your creativity with design tools like Canva or Adobe Creative Suite, connect with colleagues or clients via video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Google Meet, and build your online presence with social media or personal websites.
  • Well-being: Track your fitness with apps like Strava or Fitbit, meditate with Calm or Headspace, and prioritize mental health with online therapy platforms or digital mindfulness resources.

Develop Your Digital Skills:

  • Online courses: Enroll in free or paid courses on platforms like Google Digital Garage, Khan Academy, or edX to learn about digital marketing, social media analytics, data analysis, or other relevant skills.
  • Books and podcasts: Immerse yourself in resources like “Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport or “The Tech-Savvy Entrepreneur” by Sarah D. Brown to expand your knowledge and gain practical insights.
  • Community and mentorship: Join online communities, forums, or professional networks focused on your interests to connect with peers, learn from experienced users, and ask questions.
  • Practice and experimentation: Don’t be afraid to try new tools, explore different platforms, and experiment with technology to discover what works best for you.

Resources and Inspiration:

  • TED Talks: Find inspiring talks on diverse topics related to technology, personal growth, and professional development.
  • YouTube channels: Follow creators like Ali Abdaal, Thomas Frank, or Marie Forleo for productivity tips, tech tutorials, and career advice.
  • Blogs and websites: Stay updated with thought leaders and technology news on platforms like TechCrunch, Fast Company, or Harvard Business Review.

Remember: Technology is a journey, not a destination. Embrace continuous learning, adapt to new trends, and be open to exploring different approaches. Empower yourself by taking control, choosing the right tools, and constantly upskilling. As you harness the power of technology, you’ll unlock new possibilities for growth, success, and personal fulfillment.

Empowerment Through Technology FAQ:

Q: What does “empowerment through technology” mean?

A: It means using technology strategically to enhance your abilities, knowledge, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. It’s about harnessing technology to achieve your goals, overcome challenges, and make a positive impact on yourself and your community.

Q: Do I need to be tech-savvy to be empowered by technology?

A: Absolutely not! The key is to identify your goals and choose the right tools that are accessible and user-friendly. There are countless resources available to help you learn and develop your digital skills at your own pace.

Q: What are some common challenges in using technology for empowerment?

A: Access to technology, digital literacy gaps, and ethical concerns can be challenges. However, there are initiatives and resources available to bridge the divide and ensure responsible technology use.

Q: Where can I find more resources on empowering myself with technology?

A: This article provides a starting point, but there are many amazing resources listed throughout the piece. Additionally, online platforms like Coursera, Udemy, TED Talks, and YouTube offer diverse learning opportunities and inspiration.

Q: How can I make sure I’m using technology responsibly?

A: Be mindful of your time and digital well-being, choose tools that align with your values, and prioritize data privacy and security. Remember, technology should empower you, not control you.

Empowerment Through Technology Conclusion:

In a world filled with technological advancements, understanding how to harness their potential for personal and collective empowerment is crucial. This article has explored the diverse ways technology can drive growth, overcome limitations, and create positive change.

Remember, empowering yourself through technology is a continuous journey. Embrace the learning process, choose the right tools, and cultivate your digital skills to unlock new possibilities and shape a future where technology works for you, not the other way around. So, take the first step today, choose your direction, and let technology empower you to reach your full potential.

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